In a remarkable case, a six year old transgender girl in America has won a legal battle allowing her to use the girl’s bathroom at her school.
Coy Mathis was labelled male at birth but has identified as a girl since she was 18 months old.
She wore girls’ clothing to nursery school, her classmates and teachers used female pronouns to refer to her, and she used the girls’ bathrooms, just like any other girl in her school.
Late last year, however, the Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 informed Coy’s parents that she would no longer be allowed to use the girls’ bathrooms.
Coy was ordered to either use the boys’ bathroom, a staff bathroom, or the nurse’s bathroom.
Despite efforts to get the District to reconsider its decision, it refused to do so. Coy’s parents removed her from school and filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Division in February.
On Monday, the Division ruled in favour of the six-year-old, stating that Coy’s school had treated her in a manner that was “hostile, intimidating,” and “offensive.”
“Schools should not discriminate against their students, and we are thrilled that Coy can return to school and put this behind her,” said Kathryn Mathis, Coy’s mother. “All we ever wanted was for Coy’s school to treat her the same as other little girls. We are extremely happy that she now will be treated equally.”
According to the Transgender Legal Defence & Education Fund (TLDEF) the ruling is the first in the US holding that transgender students must be allowed to use bathrooms that match who they are, and the most comprehensive ruling ever supporting the rights of transgender people to access bathrooms without harassment or discrimination.
“This ruling sends a loud and clear message that transgender students may not be targeted for discrimination and that they must be treated equally in school,” said TLDEF’s executive director Michael Silverman. “It is a victory for Coy and a triumph for fairness.”